Several multinationals say they have been affected by the latest cyber attack which caused havoc around the world on Wednesday. Thousands of computers have been crippled, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles.
The Danish shipping giant Maersk, which handles one in seven containers worldwide, said in a statement that it had caused problems processing orders and delaying cargoes. The disruption brought congestion in some of the 76 ports around the world run by its APM Terminals subsidiary.
Maersk shut down its computer network to limit the damage – and said it was using alternative systems such as WhatsApp to communicate with its ships.
“As a result of taking systems offline, the harbours aren´t able to tell people working at the terminals which containers should be loaded and unloaded from the ships. It´s having a serious impact at the moment, and we´re working hard to minimise it as fast as possible,” said Maersk spokesman Vincent Clerc.
US delivery firm FedEx Corp said its TNT Express division had been significantly affected by the virus. The problems spread to South America, affecting ports in Argentina operated by China’s Cofco.
In the Liege region of Belgium the TNT group’s sorting centre was completely paralysed – computers out of action meant packages couldn’t be tracked, customs couldn’t be followed up, no unloading could take place.
Several dozen flights were cancelled.
Hassan Lyazghi, an official from the FGBT union representing TNT staff, said his concern was that workers should be paid. “I hope things will get back to normal quickly. The situation is very dramatic… It is huge. It is not only in Liège, but the whole TNT network across Europe has been hit.”
In Ukraine, which bore the brunt of the cyber strike with more than 60 percent of the attacks, the Kyiv metro and post offices were slowly returning to normal on Wednesday after being closed.
But some banks and cash machines remained shut down.